Oprah: A great stand-in mom
Oprah Winfrey gives because she feels.
Just because a woman has given birth to a child does not makes her fit to be a mother. To be a mother incorporates the ability to care for the child. Meaning, the mother must be able to nourish, educate, clothe and shelter her child. A woman, who is worthy to be a mother, understands that her child is her first priority and by that conducts herself in a manner that shows discipline in that respect.
There are many women who have claimed to be a mother because they have given birth to a child and yet they don’t understand the significance of the letter “M” in motherhood. Those women belong in the category of other-hood but not motherhood. They are careless, useless, senseless and more importantly dangerous. They use pregnancy as a mean to acquire wealth, and think the more children they have, the more help they’ll receive from the government. They make welfare, which stands for support for the disadvantage, seems advantageous and I'm not referring to any particular race. This is a reference to all uncaring mothers who takes a passive attitude towards motherhood.
A woman who shows empathy and love, and cares for a child gives that child something to hold on to. And that something is “great memories.” Memories are what a child lives for; it’s the exact thing that can break or make a child. You have heard the president talk about memories. He has written a book dedicated to the memory of his father. The memory that he and his father shared were important to him. His father was the role model in his life — the person that he looks up to. As children, we all need that role model in our lives.
What Oprah has done in Africa is not for fame. Oprah understands what it like is to be hungry and have no one to look up to. I will not attempt to elaborate on why Oprah has no children for it’s a personal matter that should only be address to her. However, I personally think that it’s illogical for one to think that Oprah fears that she could not meet her own standards because of her work and high profile. If a mother with a regular job can hire a nanny to look after her child while she’s at work, I honestly don’t see how Oprah’s job would have interfered with her being a mother. Since she has enough money to hire more than enough nannies, how could her high profile be interfere with her ability to mother?
Oprah Winfrey has founded a new all-girl leadership academy in South Africa which cost $40 million to construct. It is what one does with the money he/she possesses that makes a difference. You and I can sit here debating whether or not she did it for fame, but that means nothing until we’re in the position to do the same. We should not assume that the only reason why a person gives is because she has a lot. If that were true, those who have so little wouldn’t give at all.
Oprah gives because she cares. She gives because she understands. She gives because she wants to make a difference. On a TV interview showed around the same time as the completion of the all-girl academy school, Oprah said "I wanted to give this opportunity to girls who had a light so bright that not even poverty could dim that light." Oprah declared that it was "the proudest, gravest day of my life." At some point in life, giving becomes a healing process that encourages one to give for the benefit of fulfillment. And Oprah accomplished her dream by building this all-girl school she promised to Nelson Mandela, an accomplishment that brought her happiness and peace.
Any woman who has made a difference in the world by creating opportunities for the young ones to prosper has done more for society than becoming a good mother. That woman has created a platform for love to grow. And what Oprah has done in Africa is just that: she has given love to those who needed it the most.
What is love? For one, love has been misinterpreted, misused and miscalculated for hundreds of years. I like the definition of love by Doctor Scott Peck in his book “The Road Less Traveled” where he states, “Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” To me love is a sentiment of joy. When I think of the statement “love deprivation,” the picture of children who are raised by uncaring parents comes to mind.
The child needs food for the body, but most important of all he needs love. Love is that which tells the child that he is valuable, that he is a person of worth. If only parents could realize that the baby, the child, as it grows, hungers for that vital food of love. He doesn’t know how to ask for it. He only knows that there is an emptiness within him, which needs to be filled.
What Oprah has done in Africa is fulfilling that hunger the child has for that vital food of love.